Summer means a perfect time to head off the beach. It’s also an opportunity to enjoy the sun’s warmth and naturally tan the skin. For some, lying on a beach bed outside the house is perfect enough to have a suntan. This means that tanning oils are necessary for those who love to achieve a golden complexion.

Chemical-based sunscreens and sunblocks can be harmful to the skin. The ingredients may cause irritation and damage to your skin. Sometimes, these products may not effectively protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Moreover, they may fail to keep the skin moisturized.

But nature has the best tanning solution for you!

While you tan your skin naturally, you can opt to use natural tanning oils like coconut oil. Coconut oil for tanning will take care of your skin while you enjoy soaking under the sun.

image of Tan with Coconut Oil
How to Tan with Coconut Oil

Basic Skin Care Tips Under the Sun

  1. Apply sunscreen to your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater, which blocks about 97 percent of the sun’s harmful rays. Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 hours, or every hour if swimming or spending more time in the sun.
  2. Cover. When outdoors, wear protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses, particularly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  3. Seek out some shade. Stay in shady places to help shield yourself from the sun’s rays.
  4. Avoid tanning beds at all costs. People who use a tanning bed before 35 have a 59 percent increased risk of melanoma, and the risk increases with each use.

Health Benefits of Using Coconut Oil for Tanning

Why is coconut oil a great alternative to your chemical-based tanning lotions?

Coconut Oil Protects Your Skin

Sun exposure is one of the main causes of skin dryness, sunburn, and premature skin aging. Your skin eventually loses moisture, and prolonged exposure causes the skin to be burned. Applying coconut oil before exposing yourself to the scorching heat keeps you from such damaging effects. Coconut oils’ composition of lauric acid, and medium-chain triglycerides locks in moisture to protect your skin from dryness and further damage. Moreover, it has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties to protect you from any possible infection and inflammation. It’s also rich in antioxidants that protect the skin from burning and sun damage.

Coconut Oil is a Natural Oil

Unlike chemical-based sunscreens and sunblocks, coconut oil is 100% natural. It’s totally free from toxic ingredients like paraben. This natural tanning oil is very affordable and readily available. The sweet scent will make you feel like you’re sunbathing somewhere in the tropics!

Coconut Oil Nourishes Your Skin 

Coconut oil has vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that nourish your skin and give it a healthy glow. Moreover, the skin becomes smooth and shiny. And because it’s oil in nature, your skin is well-hydrated and moisturized.

Coconut Oil Gets You Tanned in No Time 

No need to expose yourself longer to the sun. Coconut oil has Vitamin E and other nutrients that activate Melanin production. You get that golden tan skin faster than any chemical-based sunscreens. Applying coconut oil to the skin and sunbathing for about 20 minutes will give you healthier suntanned skin.

Coconut Oil Absorbs Vitamin D

The sun is a rich source of Vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for bone growth and strength. However, it’s usually blocked by most sunscreens and sunblocks. Your skin absorbs more Vitamin D without harming it from the sun’s UV rays with coconut oil.

Coconut Oil, UVA, and UVB Rays

Contrary to popular belief, coconut oil does not have a high enough UV protection ability to provide significant UV sun protection factors for the skin. Sunburns can still occur while tanning with only coconut oil on the skin.

Like other tanning oils, Coconut oil forms a crust on top of the skin. This layer accelerates tanning by allowing UVA and UVB rays to reach the melanocytes, which produce melanin easily.

This means that while you can tan more quickly, you will also burn more quickly. Sunburns are a no-no. Coconut oil can not shield you from the sun and should not be used alone.

Your skin type determines the amount of time you can be exposed to the sun without protection. If you are out in the sun for an extended period when the UV Index is 3 or higher, you should wear sunscreen and coconut oil for better UV protection.

How to Tan with Coconut Oil

What to Do Before Using Coconut Oil for Tanning?


Preparing your body for a tan, whether done in the sun or not, is the same as any other tanning session. Use a soft exfoliating scrub or a loofah brush to exfoliate the skin. This helps remove dead skin cells, giving the skin a more radiant look and preparing it for tanning.

How to Tan with Coconut Oil?

Now that you’ve read the benefits of coconut oil for tanning, here are ways to tan with coconut oil. You’ll surely get that healthy sun-kissed complexion in no time!

1. Tanning with Coconut Oil

  • Apply and rub the melted, pure, unrefined coconut oil thoroughly all over your body.
  • Now, enjoy a good sunbath at the beach or the pool.
  • After every 10 to 15 minutes, reapply coconut oil. Make sure you apply the oil thoroughly.

2. Coconut Oil Sunscreen with Walnut, Avocado, and Sesame Oils 

You can use it as your natural sunscreen while you enjoy a good tanning session.

You’ll need:

  • Pure, unrefined virgin coconut oil
  • Coconut essential oil
  • Vanilla essential oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Sesame oil


  • Mix two teaspoons of sesame, walnut, and avocado oils in a small bowl.
  • In 1/4 cup of coconut oil, add five to ten drops of each coconut.
  • Stir the mixture well and pour the oil mixture into an airtight dark-colored container.

3. Coconut Oil Sunscreen with Walnut Oil and Green Tea

Use this mixture as your daily sunscreen solution.

You’ll need:

  • Pure, unrefined virgin coconut oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Green tea


  • In 1/4 cup of coconut oil, mix two teaspoons of walnut oil and 1/2 cup of brewed green tea.
  • Store in a dark-colored airtight container.

4. Coconut Oil with Lanolin Oil and Black Tea Tanning Oil 

You can apply this natural tanning oil while you go out for a sunbath.

You’ll Need: 

  • Pure, unrefined coconut oil
  • Lanolin oil
  • Black tea


  • In a 3/4 cup of boiling water, put three black tea bags and let it brew for a couple of minutes.
  • Add 1/4 cup of pure, unrefined virgin coconut oil and 1/4 cup of lanolin oil in a blender. Also, add in the brewed black tea. Blend the ingredients well.
  • Store it in an airtight container.

Does Coconut Oil Remove Tan?

Some people use coconut oil to help them get a tan, and some even use it to get rid of their tan. Like coconut oil for tanning, pure coconut oil cannot immediately erase your tan.

A tan caused by increased melanin due to UV exposure cannot be removed by simply slathering coconut oil on the skin. The melanin will remain as long as you are exposed to UV light. It’s there to protect your body, so your body won’t release much of it until it’s no longer needed.

On the other hand, spray tans and sunless tanning affect the outermost layer of the skin. Since the dead cells affected can be quickly exfoliated, it is easier to remove fake tan this way. In this situation, you may use a coconut oil scrub, which is a mixture of coconut oil and sugar, salt, or coffee grounds.

How to Remove Tan with Coconut Oil?

Tan Removal Scrub

You’ll Need: Coconut Oil, Brown Sugar, and Almond

  1. Use 2 tbsps of coconut oil
  2. Add 1 tbsp brown sugar and almonds ground. Mix until desired consistency is achieved.
  3. Use this scrub once a week as a good anti-tan.

Face Mask

You’ll Need: Coconut oil, Honey, Yogurt, and Turmeric

  1. Prepare 1 tbsp of honey, 1 tbsp of yogurt, half tsp turmeric, and about half a cup of cold-pressed coconut oil.
  2. Mix all ingredients well.
  3. Apply on the face. Leave for about 20 minutes, and then rinse well.

Tan with Coconut Oil Summary

With these natural tanning methods using coconut oil, you can naturally achieve a healthy tanned complexion. However, coconut oil can’t guarantee 100% protection for your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. You shouldn’t stay too long under the sun. Spending about ten to fifteen minutes outside with coconut oil applied on the skin is enough to give you a healthy tan. It also provides a healthy dose of Vitamin D for the skin to absorb. Moreover, remember to buy pure, unrefined virgin coconut oil as it retains most nutrients.